Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rebuilding Nepal: Canada's Disaster Relief Team Sets Up Operations

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rebuilding Nepal: Canada's Disaster Relief Team Sets Up Operations

Article excerpt

Rebuilding Nepal: a long road ahead


OTTAWA - Canada's disaster-relief team is now setting up operations in earnest in Nepal, but aid agencies and the Nepalese government warned Monday that a long road of rebuilding after the devastating earthquake lies ahead.

"It's far away; it's on the other side of the world. It's going to be easy for people to forget," said David Morley, president of UNICEF Canada.

"People have really stepped up," said Michael Messenger, World Vision Canada's incoming president, but he added: "We are still in the early stage . . . We are looking for more resources."

The assessment came as Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team took additional steps to ramp up its relief operations in earthquake-ravaged Nepal, where the death toll stands at 7,300.

A third Canadian Forces C-17 transport plane landed in Kathmandu early Monday carrying DART engineering equipment, support vehicles and 18 Canadian Forces personnel, said Maj.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, deputy commander of the Forces joint operations branch.

A fourth C-17 carrying 30 personnel, four all-terrain vehicles, an excavator and supplies was airborne to the Indian capital of New Delhi late Monday afternoon, he added.

After its initial assessments, the DART has decided to set up a camp northeast of Kathmandu in Sindhupalchok region.

The camp will provide medical services to locals, and will co-ordinate a deeper push into Nepal's Charikot region, Lamarre said.

Messenger, who just returned from five days in Nepal, said serious logistical challenges must be overcome to reach isolated populations.

The focus of his organization is now on helping survivors find shelter, clean water and tending to traumatized children, he said.

Bad weather, in the form of a pending monsoon season, along with an unforgiving mountainous geography and massive damage is also hindering access, said Messenger. …

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